When Andres Lepik was a curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he organized and curated Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement (2011). It was a landmark show for MoMA and identified a developing design trend of socially engaged projects aimed not at “grand manifestos” but to ones committed to “radical pragmatism.” Now back in Germany, Lepik has curated an equally ground breaking exhibition on social design. The exhibit Afritecture: Building Social Change at the TU Munich Architecture Museum rightly focuses on the African content as the most exciting and creative place for todays architecture of social engagement.
These projects are by both African- and non-African–based architects but all participate in a global network of social practices, groups, and organizations. They are all devoted to solving the continent’s demanding social problems—often with advanced technologies but always using local materials and engaged with local and even traditional building practices.
The exhibition comprises twenty eight projects from ten countries within Subsaharan Africa, including Kenya, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and South Africa. There is a catalogue in both German and English by Hatje Cantz publishers and the exhibit runs through February 2, 2014.
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